Overall submissions were of a very high quality and the Jury had in-depth discussions over the winners in each category. The independent Jury, comprising Judy Cligman (Heritage Lottery Fund), Debbie Dance (Oxford Preservation Trust), Valerie Humphrey (Westminster Abbey Foundation), Kate Pugh (Cultural Protection Fund) and Jane Weeks (Consultant, formerly of British Council), selected five winners.
Catherine Leonard, INTO Secretary-General, said: ‘The Awards celebrate the very best of our member organisations’ work around the world, often undertaken amid difficult circumstances and without seeking glory or acclaim but just trying to look after our global heritage for future generations. The Jury selected winners that will delight and inspire all those involved in heritage conservation, wherever they are in the world.’
Open to all: Submissions for the ‘Open to All’ Award should demonstrate the organisation’s success in enhancing community engagement across different cultures and increasing access to heritage, dialogue and understanding, and embracing the idea of ‘Forever, for everyone’.
Winner: Ruan Yisan Heritage Foundation
The Award in this category goes to a small organisation which has worked with a local community to develop a creative approach to rural depopulation. The ‘Art Harvest’ project has seen families return to their village and set up new businesses that celebrate historic buildings and traditional communities. The Jury said “This initiative involving rural communities and artists gets to the heart of a real problem and offers a workable solution, which could be replicated in other countries. We congratulate the Ruan Yisan Heritage Foundation for its pioneering work.”
Honourable Mention: Union Rempart
What the Jury liked about this submission was that “This programme uses heritage as a means to include marginalised young people by offering opportunities to participate in active, inter-cultural volunteering work. The way it is aligned with existing social and economic support structures increases its impact and ensures longevity.” The Jury were very impressed by ‘Social Inclusion and Action for Heritage’, not only for how it addresses the needs of marginalised communities but also how it delivers training for REMPART member associations and awareness raising.
Open House: This Awards will be presented to the member organisation which has creatively reimagined historic places to make heritage assets more accessible and relevant in today’s society.
Winner: The National Trust of Guernsey
“A well-rounded project combining many different aspects of a National Trust’s work, including nature conservation and biodiversity,” said the Awards Jury. “After 20 years of perseverance, this Award has been long awaited and richly deserved.” The Jury were particularly impressed by the breadth of community partnerships and the National Trust of Guernsey’s commitment to teaching and learning alongside safeguarding the Island’s built, natural and cultural heritage at its Les Caches Barn site.
Honourable Mention: The National Trust of Australia (Tasmania)
The Jury congratulated the National Trust of Australia (Tasmania) on this remarkable project. They felt it was an effective way of changing perceptions about a building and attracting new audiences. “Telling hidden stories is not always easy but this project has taken an innovative approach which is appealing and surprising. The ‘Pandemonium’ film installed at the Penitentiary Chapel Historic Site in Hobart tells the story of crime and punishment in an engaging and fast-moving way. It has succeeded in making the Chapel more accessible and relevant to today’s society.”
Opening Minds: The recipient of the ‘Opening Minds’ Award shall have demonstrated success in training, education or advocacy involving its employees, volunteers, community members or stakeholders to ensure the continued relevance of the organisation’s work.
This Award was so hotly debated, the Jury decided to honour joint winners for two outstanding education programmes at different stages of development.
Winner: National Trust for Land and Culture in British Columbia
“This programme is an inspiration,” said the Jury, “a clever yet simple and practical way of involving young people at a particular site using photography and storytelling”. The National Trust for Land and Culture in British Columbia’s ‘Exploring the Lighthouse’ schools programme is largely run by volunteers and has involved 250 children over the first three years (and through them hundreds of family members). The programme takes one site, Sheringham Point Lighthouse, and expands ideas out of it that could be easily adopted by other INTO members. The Jury said that “this is such a good way to open everyone’s minds and to develop children’s life skills”.
Winner: National Trust of Trinidad and Tobago
Our second winner was a very similar project in fact, even the names are similar. The Canadian programme talks about ‘Lighthouse Keepers’ whilst our joint-winner celebrates ‘Heritage Keepers’.
Having only embarked on phase one in June 2018, this is a less established initiative but the Jury thought it was a “fantastic project that both draws on and feeds into INTO’s experience with heritage clubs around the world”. This education programme seeks to ‘open the minds’ of the nation’s youth and open up opportunities within the multi-cultural, underfunded and not always very accessible heritage sector. The Jury was also excited by the way the National Trust of Trinidad and Tobago‘s ambitious programme seeks to “change people’s aspirations for the future and to grow the heritage profession”.
Open for Business: This Award will be presented to the INTO member organisation which has developed innovative approaches to the business of running a heritage trust, such as increasing and maintaining memberships, fundraising or visitor services.
Winner: National Trust for Jersey
The Jury was really struck by the winner’s courageous and business-like approach to this exciting regeneration project. The Trust built successful partnerships with other organisations and engaged local people in saving the property from demolition. It then went on to find new and financially sustainable uses for the site that could be replicated by other INTO members.
“The Trustees of National Trusts are generally fairly risk averse so this was a brave project by the National Trust for Jersey to save an important site in St Helier and to find a mixed, contemporary and economically sustainable new use for the Foot Buildings,” said the Jury.